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  • Ed

Middle East and 10/7 rules for mediation

The news this week starts in the middle east with Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan (and yes I still think "Really? He was a cricketer". But then look who we’ve got, perhaps Stokes or Flintoff would make a better job - but not Boycott) travelling to Iran to open mediation talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Hassan Rohani, the Iranian president welcomed Suaid’s new push for peace and at the same conference Prime Minister Khan said "We are friends with both Iran and Saudi Arabia, and we do not want a war between these two countries"

The meeting followed the comments by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistani Foreign Minister, earlier in the week that "We are seeking that misunderstandings between the two Muslim countries will be cleared through talks" noting that both were either friends or strategic partners to Pakistan.

Often an interested third party can help in mediation at this sort of level, it’s why in the past priests or village elders have been the people to whom disputes have been referred.

With Northwest Mediation you no longer have to find a third party who might have an interest (which might make you feel they are bias) you can come to us as a wholly independent third party to help guide you and the other parties to a resolution with which you can live.

In terms of time, mediation is clearly quicker than the courts even in protracted cases, where the parties want to think about decisions (as they should) before reaching a final agreement it is often the early steps which seem to take longest.

This article discusses how disclosure of information is one of those matters which can slow down the mediation process and that by dealing with it early in contract disputes can get the process moving at a speedier pace.

We like disclosure in contract mediation but it is not the end goal of mediation, disclosure only informs the background, the true goal of a mediation is not to determine the law or facts based on disclosure it’s to work out a way forward for the parties.

We always ask for a position statement prior to the mediation but we limit what documents we want to see as in some respects they don’t help.

If we spend hours trawling over the paperwork to do the sums on a dispute we are losing valuable time working with the parties towards a settlement (and we charge more).

That said if you send us documents we will read them and be prepared to be challenged where either they do not make sense or do not say what you think they do!

Mediation is an interactive process whilst it may be thought that mediators in maintaining their independence are non-committal that does not mean we do not confront you and challenge your expectations.

In this continuation of an earlier article the ten pitfalls lawyers fall into are discussed, particularly in respect of the preparation for mediation.

I’m not keen on number 9 “attorneys speaking to the mediator” unless it’s agreed in advance by the parties themselves what is being discussed.

We (mediators) must not be seen as doing a back room deal as so many counsel are felt by clients to have done at court, having got their fee they show up agree a settlement and then pursued their clients to take the deal already agreed between the lawyers.

I am fond of number 5, not letting the mediator talk to the client, honesty I’ve had it happen once and I refused to proceed without the client being the one I was talking to, mediation is not litigation it is not for your legal representative to present your case, mediation is about what underlies your wishes and feelings and what you want to get out of the process. As with disclosure the fact and evidence assessment is not what mediation is about.

From 10 mistakes lawyers make in mediation to 7 benefits of mediation in higher education.

I won’t rewrite Kayla’s article but the highlights are that:-

Mediation teaches you to deal with problems in a different way, a solution focused method you can take forward for the next issue (not just the one that is absorbing all your time and causing you stress right now), Mediation is far less adversarial than dispute or grievance procedures (though they have their place), Mediation encourages discussion and collaboration with a more collegial approach, Mediation models “soft skills” (a term I really don’t like but is now widely accepted as indicating a wider skill set than what I guess are hard skills like maths! If you think mediation is a soft skill train as a mediator and come back to me).

Mediation also promotes self awareness. Something as a mediator you are always ware of in your private life is when you find yourself in disagreement you end up examining your own reasons and trying to understand the other person, it really helps, even when dealing with your ISP and their staff (as I have had to most of this week)!

As we’ve said before choose to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, timeously, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor.

By having a deep and meaningful discussions with parties the mediator elicits what the true “red-lines” are and where there is the potential for compromise, it is with this structured period of reflection that the parties are then able to reach an accord.

The flexible nature of mediation and the possible outcomes make it an ideal way to resolve disputes in an ever changing world and the open nature of discussions in mediation whilst remaining confidential allows all sides to engage fully in the process and understand the needs of all involved allowing parties to reach a conclusion which both sides can live with and move on.

There are so many situations which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public (and some lawyers) will go to avoid referral.

Whether you need a mediator to help out with a construction matter in the Northwest, or council’s plans in Cheshire, a civil mediator in London, a commercial mediator in Manchester, a dispute resolution for your family in Liverpool, a neighbourhood mediation in Stockport, then our mediators at Northwest Mediation can help.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes, civil mediation or inheritance, wills and probate arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; civil mediation; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance wills probate mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

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